Tradesmen are often self-employed which means you’re responsible for arranging your own insurance cover. While there may be a number of forms of insurance cover which apply to your work, one of the most important policies for you to consider is public liability insurance. Today, we take a closer look at which tradesmen should consider public liability insurance and what you can expect from this form of cover.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance provides financial protection if you cause damage to property or injury to a person as the result of your actions at work. Liability insurance also covers your legal bills if you need to hire a lawyer as part of the claims process. Although public liability isn’t generally compulsory for tradesmen in Australia, it offers essential financial protection for your business. No matter how careful you are in your work, unexpected damage or injury can occur to your clients or any other third party. The financial implications of a liability claim can be devastating, which is why you need to ensure you have public liability insurance in place.

Public liability insurance generally isn’t compulsory in Australia but many employers will request confirmation of liability cover before they take you on and it’s a condition attached to many contracts. There are also certain worksites that you won’t be able to enter without public liability cover. Tradesmen work in an industry which is exposed to a unique set of risks, with the nature of your work meaning incidents of injury and damage is more common compared to other industries. 

Who needs public liability insurance?

For most tradesmen, public liability insurance is a basic form of cover and it is an industry expectation. Below are just some of the trades we work closely with who should consider having public liability insurance in place.

Tree Loppers

Tree loppers face a number of risks in their daily work which leaves them open to liability claims. This could include injury or damage caused by falling branches when going about your work. All it would take is for a branch to fall onto a vehicle or for passer-by to trip to find yourself at the receiving end of a claim. 

Lawn Mowing Contractors

As a lawn mowing contractor, it’s essential that you protect yourself with public liability insurance. You travel to a range of jobs where risks could range from a flying rock breaking a window to a third party becoming injured on your lawn mowing equipment. In many cases, you will have employees working for you who will also need to be covered.

Appliance Repair

Appliance repair may sound like a trade which doesn’t require a high level of public liability insurance but there are risks involved which could result in costly claims. For example, you may inadvertently cause a water leak while repairing a washing machine which results in an occupant tripping and hurting themselves. Liability insurance ensures that you’re covered for unexpected scenarios such as this. 

Hire a Hubby

With your own hire a hubby business, you carry out a range of tasks and all of these carry various risks. Whether you’re doing work in the garden or general repairs around the house, it’s all too easy for damage or injury to occur. Public liability insurance gives both you and your clients peace of mind that you’re protected financially if a costly claim occurs. 


Given the complexity of your work as an electrician, it’s easy to understand why public liability insurance is considered essential. You have the potential to cause serious injury to a third party while carrying out your work and there are also significant risks associated with damage to third party property. If you’re an electrician working in Queensland, you must have $5 million public liability insurance protection, along with additional consumer protection insurance. 


Public liability insurance is the most common form of insurance for plumbers due to the high risk of damage or injury while on the job. If a simple mistake results in a client’s home being flooded or causes water damage to other property, this could be financially devastating for your business. In most states, plumbers are required to have public liability insurance in place and Victoria plumbers will require additional insurance cover to obtain their licence. 

How much will my public liability insurance cost?

The cost of your public liability insurance will depend on a number of factors. These include the type of work that you carry out, the number of employees you have working for your, the location of your work and the size of your business. The cost of your premiums will also depend on the level of public liability insurance that you require. The higher your risk of liability claim, the more you can expect to pay in premiums.

It’s important to remember that public liability insurance offers significant financial protection and without adequate cover in place, it could be financially devastating for your business. Consider how much liability cover you require and ask your insurance broker for advice so you aren’t underinsured. If your circumstances change, such as taking on new employees, let your insurance broker know as this may require a change in your level of cover.

Leading the insurance industry 

GSK Insurance Brokers lead the industry when it comes to innovative insurance solutions. We work with Australian businesses of all different shapes and sizes to find high-quality insurance cover at a competitive price. Our experienced brokers will take the time to analyse your situation and ensure that all of your areas of risk are appropriately covered. We aim to provide the best possible customer service and your broker is there every step of the way, from the initial stages of taking out your cover to stepping in at claim. At GSK Insurance Brokers, we insure your success.

For public liability insurance in Perth, contact GSK Insurance Brokers on (08) 9478 1933.

April 17, 2020

By Graham Knight

Founder and Managing Director of GSK Insurance (established in 1981). Graham draws upon more than 50 years’ experience in the insurance industry, working in both insurance and broking across various private, public and government sectors in Australia.

Leave a comment

Get a Free Quote Today!